Mexico City played host to the 2019 Race of Champions this past weekend and fittingly, a local hero took home the title.
Benito Guerra, a star Mexican rally driver, walked away victorious at the end of the showdown, which brings together the world's elite racing drivers for an epic bracketed battle. In the final match, Guerra faced former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Loic Duval. Ultimately, Guerra was first across the line.
The racing pits two drivers running simultaneously in identically prepared cars in opposite directions in what is essentially a stadium autocross. Whoever crosses the finish line first is the winner. The cars change round by round.
Guerra faced stiff competition. The battle for victory saw Mick Schumacher, son of Michael Schumacher, face fellow German Sebastian Vettel. Schumacher, set for a Formula 2 debut this year after becoming the Formula 3 champion last year, beat the Ferrari F1 driver. He was knocked out in the quarter-final round when he lost to F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez.
Red Bull’s French driver Pierre Gasly also fell in the quarter-final round with a loss to eventual winner Guerra.
Mick Schumacher at 2019 Race of Champions, Mexico City
Schumacher and Vettel went to the finals the previous day in the Nation's Cup competition, which pits pairs of drivers from their home nations against the world. The final came down to Germany vs Team Nordic. Tom Kristensen and Johan Kristoffersson beat out the German duo to take the Nation's Cup win, ending a nine-year-long streak for the Germans.
The Race of Champions dates back three decades and brings the world's best drivers from numerous motorsport disciplines in one place. The challenge comes in each driver working to understand the specific car chosen for the race and adapting their skills to something potentially entirely new.
We'll learn what venue will host the 2020 Race of Champions later this year, and surely, Schumacher—a rising star—will return.